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During the shooting of a mummy horror C movie, a crew of film students is being confronted with the world falling apart around them: dead bodies stand up again, the world turns into a zombie madhouse, and they have to find some refuge with their trailer. They do, at last, take cover in one of the crew members’ huge mansion, where they take their last stand.

George Romero is some kind of routine zombie provider, and you have to gove him that the quality of this provision never drops below a certain standard. As zombies in a zombie movie are not the key point anymore, he takes the chance of showing how societies evolve when being struck by apocaplypse’s horsemen. How military abuses the vulnerability of the non-armed, how the previously underpriviledged use the ruthlessness they were forced to develop in order to get in charge of supplies and hence civilisation. How people deal with the fact that their beloved ones are “slow mutants” – eager to eat flesh.

None of this is new, but . . . no “but”, unfortunately, this time it is actually a problem that pre-existing patterns are being recycled without really adding anything substantial. The shaky camera, or the obsession of the guy who holds the camera to the last moment, is very much last year, and what does it add, anyway? Media criticism? Voyeur-Bashing? More authenticity? The threats or benefits of ubiquitous computing? No, not anymore, if ever. There is one funny aspect, at least, which is that the Mummy turns into a Zombie, kind of mind-boggling, when you are geekish enough to analyse the implications while being sufficiently drunk.
Diary of the Dead is the Diary of a film-maker who cannot escape his clichee at the moment, but who will need to re-invent himself in order to remain interesting for audiences.

Nice opportunity to come back to an old favourite – when did you last visit the Fangoria website to read a review? Do now! Review
Jim Emerson’s review

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